NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION
with Madeleine McMullin
Booby-trapped letter for bullfighters
Adac, the organising.committee for the bullfighting in Céret has received a letter with a razor blade inside. They have made a formal complaint to the police. The person who opened the letter used a letter opener and so avoided being hurt by the blade which was taped to the blank sheet of paper in the envelope. At least 20 letters of the same sort were sent over the course of a couple of weeks to various people in the French bullfighting world. One person cut his finger on one of the blades. The letters seem to have come from the Gard area and the court in Nimes is investigating.
Still no Perpignan Carnival in 2017
The last carnival held in Perpignan was in 2001. The council is still thinking about whether to re-introduce it. At the moment the consensus is that they would rather use the money for a different type of event such as the Cavalcade of the Kings, as the timing is difficult. The carnival has a long history in Perpignan dating back to the early 19th century and featuring up to 40 floats. However the last one cost 750,000 francs (around €100,000) and the cost and security complications meant that it was stopped after 2001. Some of the city’s districts do hold their own carnivals. This year the Moulin-à-Vent and West areas of Perpignan were the only ones to try to organise carnival celebrations. However the mayor has asked that they do not hold a parade and so the Moulin one will be held in the Sports Park and the one in the West sector may be cancelled.
Rail delivery for Yellow Train track
Travellers along the RN116 in the last few days will have seen convoys of lorries from Perpignan delivering kilometers of 24m long rails to Saillagouse, Boug-Madame and Latour de Carol to do up the Yellow Train track.
7 year old injured by guard dog
On 22nd February a young child was attacked by a dog from a dangerous breed at the Céret home of a family member to whom the dog belonged. He suffered bites to the face and back and was airlifted to Montpellier. The police are investigating and the dog will probably be put down.
Prisoner escapes through the main gate
A prisoner who was due to be released on Saturday 18th February had his prison identity card taken by another prisoner: it’s not yet known whether he was threatened, tricked, bribed or it was stolen. When the guard called the prisoner, the other one came forward and as they look quite similar the guard released him. The other prisoner came forward a few moments later wanting to know why the guards hadn’t called him, and claiming that he hadn’t heard them do so.
The escapee was caught burgling a house in Corrèze on Wednesday having moved departments to try to avoid arrest.
Woman saved by call to police
A resident of a block of flats in Perpignan called the police when he heard screams from an apartment. They came and broke open the door to find themselves under attack from a man wielding a broken bottle covered in blood. After tasering the man and disabling him, they found a woman lying on the floor, she had a broken hand and cuts and lacerations on her face. The man in court claimed that he had tried to defend himself when she attacked him with the bottle following a disagreement about a neighbour that he didn’t get on with. He had grabbed the bottle from her and remembered nothing else. He was found to have a large quantity of alcohol in his blood. The woman testified that she had used the bottle to defend herself when he had attacked her as she tried to phone a neighbour to help her after realising that the situation might turn ugly. The man who has had several periods in pyschiatric hospital, kept interrupting the witness. He received a sentence of 4 years in prison with no parole and was forbidden from seeing his victim or returning to the street where it happened.
Nude woman wandering in Perpignan
A young lady in her 20s was walking the streets of Perpignan dressed only in a t-shirt on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd February. She explained to the Municipal Police that she’d had an argument with her boyfriend and have left the house without realising that her bottom half was completely naked.
Perpignan to get new prison
The Minister of Justice confirmed that Perpignan would be one of 33 sites to have a new prison built in the next 5 years. The old mas Orline site opposite the ex-Cémoi factory has been chosen although its 8.5ha surface area is a lot less than the 15ha required. Its position conveniently close to the south exit of the motorway, the hospital and the courts made him choose it, over another proposed to the north of the town. The project is not one of the 9 chosen as priorities but if the land can be acquired quickly that may change.
Perpignan restaurant’s beef best in France
Le Divil and its wonderful well-hung meat has been chosen by the authors of a new book “Steak in France” as the best in France. The 2 authors travelled the length and breadth of the country meeting restaurateurs, producers and butchers and settled on Le Divil in rue Fabriques d’en Nabot as the best steak in the Hexagon. The beef in this restaurant comes from the best sources in the world including Wagyu and Black Angus but also from local producers in St Jean Pla de Corts and Fontrabiouse. The owner, Stéphane Balluet, concentrates on the best meat, perfectly hung with the best cooking and of course the best wines. People come from as far away as Toulouse and Montpellier to eat there.
Region’s new name still being challenged
A group lead by Rénée Soum is still challenging the name of the new region. A final decision will be made in April. They consider the new logo inflammatory, given that it is supposed to have the Catalan flag in there, but the colours have been reversed and there is an extra dot.
Soudaqui – a new currency for the P-O
A new local currency is going to use crowdfunding to print its first notes. The association had a first round in 2015 to decide the name of the currency and design a logo and the notes. It now wants to raise €7500 to allow it to print notes of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 soudaquis. It will be tested in Conflent first and then be rolled out to the rest of the departement before the end of the year. You can find out more at soudaqui.cat.